Hennessee Ousts Van Boening
By Michael Basha
Jesse Middlebrook continued his excellent run today at the Great Southern Billiard Tour championship with a much-deserved win over Alex Pagulayan in the final four of the winner’s bracket. Pagulayan built a 7-3 lead before he gave Middlebrook a chance at the table, but when he did Middlebrook capitalized and ran the set out to win 11-7. Middlebrook’s victory over Pagulayan will set him up against Sparky Ferrell for the winner’s bracket. Ferrell managed to defeat Rafael Martinez 11-7 earlier in the day to stay undefeated.
On the one-loss side, Jonathan Pinegar ousted Shane Van Boening 11-8 in a tactical thriller. The two players traded racks early on with Van Boening eventually building a lead up to 8-5. Pinegar manufactured an out from a half-hearted safety from Van Boening and managed to run four racks to a 9-8 advantage. A safety battle on the 1 ball saw Pinegar end up on two fouls with an extremely difficult kick. Pinegar managed to somehow score an amazing hit off the end rail with a half-massé and stay alive in the game. The next time Pinegar came to the table, he was faced with a two-rail kick on the 3 ball, which he kicked straight into the opposite corner pocket and ran the rest of the rack to get to the hill. A solid break left a difficult layout for Pinegar on the hill, but he managed to navigate the table perfectly for the run out and the 11-8 victory.
Larry Nevel will face Pagulayan later today, while Pinegar will have to get by Rafael Martinez to continue his quest for the title.